Black Bombers coach Ofori Asare, the coach of Ghana’s national amateur boxing team, says that those involved with the sport in Ghana must take advantage of the 2017 Year of Africa initiative to increase their knowledge and skill in the sport.
The Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur (AIBA) is the world’s major amateur boxing sanctioning body. Their 2017 Year of Africa program is a landmark initiative within AIBA’s Development Programme and a flagship Legacy Project for the organization, providing an all-in-one solution on a continental scale that aims to promote boxing at all levels.
In an interview with Ghana’s Graphic Sports publication, Asare pointed out the potential positives of the project.
Asare, himself an AIBA Instructor, said the free program, which was launched in South Africa on March 16, is a once in a lifetime project that Ghanaian boxing coaches, technical officials and others should take advantage of.
“It is about time we enriched all of our boxing departments and sectors with the latest upgrade in the sport.”
The sport is in need of such a program in Ghana, particularly in light of the Bombers’ inability to participate in AIBA’s World Boxing Championship later this year in Hamburg, Germany.
Ghana’s national boxing team missed the qualifying event, the Africa Confederation Boxing Championship, because they were denied the necessary funds by the Ministry of Youth & Sports in what can only be described as a puzzling, if not short-sighted, decision.
According to Asare, this has caused the Bombers to be removed from the world rankings and also makes them ineligible to compete for the prize money at stake at the Amateur Professional Boxing (APB) and World Series boxing competitions.
“The boxers would also be affected psychologically and physically in any future major competition due to lack of exposure,” he noted.
Asare pointed out that Ghana remains behind the ball in terms of infrastructure and resources. The AIBA project gives the country an opportunity to at least catch up to their competitors from a knowledge standpoint.
Nevertheless, little will change as long as Ghana’s government maintains a lackadaisical and misinformed approach to the sport.